Top Travel Must-Have Items for a Cruise

These items are consistently recommended by cruise enthusiasts:)

The Traveling Shopaholic

3/21/20244 min read

white and blue ship on sea under blue sky and white clouds during daytime
white and blue ship on sea under blue sky and white clouds during daytime

Top Travel Must-Have Accessories for a Cruise

I have been on several cruises, and I am headed out on a Virgin Voyages cruise for the first time next month! Whether a traditional Caribbean ocean ship or a European river cruise, going on a cruise is an exciting adventure! Having the right accessories can make your trip even more enjoyable. Whether you're looking for items to help you in the cabin, assist with packing, or enhance your excursions, here are some must-have items to consider:

Clothing Items

When it comes to clothing items, comfort and versatility are key. Many readers suggest layers including and depending on location, sun protection is KEY!! Here are a few essentials to pack:

  • A lightweight jacket or sweater for cool evenings on deck (THIS option is packable, comes in a bunch of colors and has great reviews!)

  • A swimsuit cover-up for lounging by the pool (Long sleeve, lightweight option HERE, or THIS absolute stunner!)

  • A versatile dress or outfit for formal nights if your cruise has these (dress THIS one up or down! The perfect travel dress)

  • Comfortable walking shoes for exploring ports of call (Read about the top recommended shoes for travel HERE and sandals HERE)

  • A hat and sunglasses to protect you from the sun (I have several colors of THIS hat that rolls up and THIS one that is packable!)

  • Nobody wants to think about rain on vacation, but better to be prepared with a small packable raincoat!


Having the right gadgets can enhance your cruise experience and make your time on board more enjoyable. Here are some gadgets to consider packing:

  • A portable charger to keep your devices powered throughout the day (Read about my favorite one with built in cables HERE)

  • A waterproof phone case for taking photos and videos underwater

  • An underwater camera for all of your snorkeling adventures:) (I swear by this GoPro...they are expensive, but we got some of the most incredible underwater shots in the Galapagos! Worth the cost!)

  • A small Bluetooth speaker for playing music in your cabin (THIS one is super portable and packs a punch with the sound quality!)

  • A noise-canceling headphone for peace and quiet on long flights or excursions (Top rated options HERE)

Health and Beauty Items

Staying healthy and looking your best while on a cruise is important. Here are some health and beauty items to consider packing:

  • Sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays (Top rated options HERE)

  • Aloe vera gel for soothing sunburns (THESE don't count towards your liquids!)

  • Sea sickness bands or medication to prevent motion sickness (THIS kit has patches and two wristbands)

  • A small first aid kit with band-aids and pain relievers (HERE is my full run down on this)

  • Travel-sized toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. Of course most cruises will have these essentials, but if you're particular...bring your own!

Helpful Cabin Accessories

Make your cabin feel like a home away from home with these helpful accessories:

  • Wrinkle release spray to help remove wrinkles from your clothes (a lot of cruises don't allow steamers on board!)

  • A hanging toiletry bag to keep your bathroom essentials organized and keep items off of the limited counter space (THIS is my absolute favorite after trying many)

  • A compact power strip to charge multiple devices at once as outlets can be limited. (Make sure it's not a surge protector)

  • A small fan to keep you cool during warm nights

  • A collapsible laundry hamper to keep your cabin tidy (THIS one folds flat and is very lightweight)

  • Small magnetic hooks to hang all sorts of items and keep clutter off of the limited counter space. Most cruise ship cabins have metal walls/doors so they'll stick all over the place!

  • Hanging shoe organizer to hold miscellaneous items (think sunglasses, toiletries, sunscreen, Aloe etc...even shoes:))

  • Compact Hangers to keep the small closet organized. There never seem to be enough hangers!

  • A spray for the bathroom, like Poo-Pourri. The rooms are small...

  • Towel Clips to keep your towel from blowing all over the place by the pool. These were super helpful last time!

Excursion Essentials

When you're exploring ports of call, certain items can make your excursions more enjoyable. Here are some essentials to consider:

  • A comfortable backpack to carry your essentials (THIS one packs up to the size of your palm!)

  • A reusable water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the day (If you've been here long enough, you know my recommendation has and will always be the UV water bottle I wrote about HERE. I won't travel without it!!)

  • A compact umbrella for unexpected rain showers

  • Anti-theft crossbody bag to keep your items close and secure (THIS one has two size pockets that can accommodate a water bottle or umbrella when unzipped. Has all sorts of cool features!)

  • A dry bag to keep all of your goodies well....DRY!

Remember, these are just a few suggestions to help you make the most of your cruise. Tailor your packing list to your personal needs and preferences, and don't forget to leave some space in your luggage for souvenirs!


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